Wednesday, January 1, 2020

2019 Year in Review


Our year started out celebrating our 36th anniversary in beautiful Costa Rica.  We re-visited 2 lodges we had previously stayed at in 2008 (Savegre and Rancho Naturalista) and tried a new lodge (Esquinas).

We saw beautiful birds, dolphins, and other amazing critters.  We had a great time and met some really fun folks.

Spotted Dolphin.

Our guide and Mark - having fun with "fruit" makeup.

Spectacled Caimen

We spent the rest of January hanging around Kerrville and relaxing.


February found us checking out pictographs in Seminole Canyon State Park with friends Rick and Sharon and visiting a few other parks in Texas.


We went on our first factory tour of the year to the Toyota Texas factory in San Antonio, Texas.

Toyota Tundra.  Only made in Texas.

We started our 5-week journey to Maine, where we spent our second summer in a row.  On the way we stayed in ten different states and drove through a few more.  We had a great time going on factory tours (Tabasco, rice, Coca Cola, chocolate, cookies, chips), visiting tourist attractions (petroleum museum, science museum, etc.), playing disc golf, kayaking, etc.

This was our route from Texas to Maine:

The "Business End" of the Saturn V Rocket

We found many beautiful disc golf courses.

 Coke - the secret is in the vault.

We arrived at Green Lake National Fish Hatchery on May 11th.  We celebrated Mark’s birthday on the 18th and made a few trips to the Atlantic Ocean.  We also started our volunteer jobs at the hatchery.

Our site for the summer.

Atlantic Ocean.

In June we went on our first boat trip to see Puffins. Fish wrangling and other fun jobs were in full swing at the hatchery.  We were even able to find a couple more chocolate factory tours to visit. We had some beautiful hikes along the Gulf of Maine and spent a little time kayaking.


In July we visited a couple other Refuges in Maine.  Both of which we had visited on our first trip to Maine in 2011 (Craig Brook NFH and Moosehorn NWR).

It was my birthday month so we headed to Canada for a week.  We visited several museums and other tourist attractions (chocolate, soap, grist mill), saw some amazing views, played disc golf, and even saw a few birds and other critters.

Nova Scotia, 2019

This was our route through Canada:


We still had plenty projects left to complete in August.  Building and setting out more bluebird houses, re-coating and painting raceways, fish splitting, etc.

More disc golf, aquariums, museums, hiking and a couple of tours kept us busy.

Baby lobster.

US Bells.

We saw a lot of green paint in September.  We had great success with our pollinator gardens.  Our little fish grew up and were ready to be graded and released.  A whale trip saw Finback and Minke whales and we picked apples for the first time.

Grading fish.

Not a shade of green you see very often.

We had great success with Monarchs.

 Sadly our time at Green Lake came to an end and it was time to pack up and head out.

Time to roll.

This was our route back to Texas:


The first 3 weeks of October found us on the road.  Maine, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, and finally Texas.

Mark played a lot of disc golf and we found a few tours.





After a couple of weeks in Medina, Texas, we arrived at our winter volunteer site.  South Llano River State Park in Junction, Texas.  We were maintenance hosts.  Our main job was to keep the bird feeding stations stocked.

We had a bird feeding station set up outside our RV where Mark was able to get many "out my window" pictures.

We learned how to use an Atlatl while at the park (The Atlatl is a spear thrower used by the Comanche Indians).  My spear went about 5 feet and I decided one throw was enough.  Mark threw several times and was pretty good at it.

In November I had cataract surgery as a precursor to vitrectomy surgery scheduled for January 2020.

We were only at S. Llano River three weeks before Mark had an old back injury flare up.  With back surgery scheduled for Mark and another eye surgery scheduled for me, we decided to leave the park and return home.


Mark had successful back surgery on December 4th.  With six weeks of no bending, twisting or lifting, we had a pretty laid-back month.  Physical therapy started right before Christmas and he is feeling much better.


2020 is going to be a busy year for us.  Lots of celebrating, trips, and a new summer volunteer adventure.  Stay tuned!


  1. Looks like another fun and productive year! So happy for you two. Hopefully by the time you are ready to set out again, the medical stuff will be well in hindsight.

    The baby lobster picture was amazing - so small yet so defined!

    1. Thanks Serene! Happy New Year to the two of you and we hope to see you out on the road in 2020.

  2. Happy New Year! I hope recovery from your surgeries goes well and you can start 2020 with all your health issues resolved.

  3. Thanks Randy! So far so good on the surgeries and looking forward to getting back in the RV!

  4. You have had a busy year. Sorry to see you both had to deal with surgeries. Glad you are doing well.